Showing compassion for yourself is a key factor in attaining a better quality of life. In fact, a previous study on the Science Daily about self-compassion revealed that being kind to yourself is scientifically beneficial for your mental and physical health. The study also found that participants who were encouraged to be kind to themselves felt more empathy and connection with others and showed bodily responses consistent with feelings of relaxation and safety. As a result, they also have a more relaxed heart rate and lower sweat response, which means they feel less threatened and distressed. But although this strongly indicates that we should show more self-compassion, many of us still struggle with being gentler and more understanding with ourselves. So in this article, we'll discuss four ways you can start being kind to yourself.
Talk kindly to yourself
While we often mind our words with others, we seldom do the same for ourselves. According to Psychology Today's article on self-talk, replacing negative self-talk with positive ones enables you to boost your self-confidence and practice self-compassion. For instance, instead of saying, “It’s too complicated for me,” try to reframe your words into, “I’ll tackle it from a different angle.” This encourages you to keep pushing forward despite the difficulties you’re facing. Ultimately, this will help you cope better with the failures and hardships you may encounter in life. As a rule of thumb, talk to yourself the way you would speak to the people you love and care about.
What you eat reflects how you feel about yourself. Because if you love your body, you’re more likely to choose healthy foods and practice eating habits that nourish you. That’s why another way to exhibit kindness to yourself is by eating healthy meals that strengthen you in mind and body. However, this doesn’t mean simply following generic restrictive diets. Based on the popular weight loss plans from WeightWatchers, the best dietary programs are the ones that consider your unique requirements. This can mean personalized meal plans based on your food preferences and lifestyle so that you can nourish yourself without compromise. Through such a tailored approach, you're more likely to feel satisfied inside and out. The more content you feel, the kinder and more grateful you will be to yourself.
Indulging yourself in something you love is a great way to celebrate yourself. It doesn’t necessarily mean splurging on luxury items or big-ticket items. Instead, this is more about allowing yourself to spend money on goods or services that have meaning for you. For instance, if you’ve worked yourself too hard for the past couple of weeks, eating at a fancy restaurant afterward can be your form of self-reward. You can also treat yourself after a hard day at work by watching your favorite movie and eating your comfort food. Once you’ve become accustomed to treating yourself, you’ll eventually learn not to feel guilty about prioritizing and being kind to yourself, especially when you deserve it.
By being mindful, you can practice focusing more on the present, which enables you to forget your worries about the future or past regrets that influence how you feel about yourself. If you’re able to let go of these chaotic and stressful thoughts, you’ll be more able to show compassion for yourself because you appreciate who you are now. One of the ways you can practice mindfulness is through meditation. In our article on ‘4 Steps to Becoming a More Confident You’, we shared that meditating allows you to relax and clear your mind, empowering you to calmly and confidently tackle any problems that may arise. Moreover, meditation helps you eliminate negative thoughts that prevent you from being kind to yourself.
By practicing and implementing these 4 ways to be kind to yourself, you'll start to feel the many mental and physical benefits.
Do you have a favorite way you show kindness to yourself? Let me know in the comments!